Friday, February 21, 2014

Simon Armitage's Poetry Through Youtube Videos


I haven't updated this blog much recently, but it's not because I haven't been writing. See, I've been focusing on poetry in these last few months, which is a lot more taxing (for me, at least) than blogging. I've turned out a lot of stuff that resembles poetry lately, and hopefully I'll be able to share the best of it with you soon.

Anyway, as I've been reading lots of others' work, it occurred to me that I don't really have a favorite poet. Emily Dickinson doesn't count. Neither does Homer. Or Poe. There's no living poet that I can identify with the way I identify with my favorite ballplayer. This was troubling.

When I thought of a poem that best exemplifies the kind of style I aspire to, I though of this one, by a British poet named Simon Armitage who I had run across only a few times. I wanted to read more of his work and, after ordering a few of his books online, I searched for him on youtube.

Armitage's poetry is solid, straightforward, convincing in its details, emotionally satisfying, and frequently very funny. Further, he has an amazing deadpan Northern British delivery that I could listen to all day, and I've found myself imagining this voice when I'm doing my own writing. Like now. I'm hearing his voice now, as I type these words. 

Here are some videos of my favorite of his poems. Enjoy:


1. "The Shout"
This is an amazing poem that does its work quickly and cleanly. (It's also a cautionary tale for all you teachers forced to incorporate project based learning in the classroom, but that's beside the point.) "The Christening," which follows, is also worthwhile.





2. "An Accommodation"





3. "Aviators"





4. "Harmonium."
I can't embed the link (thanks, Poetry Channel Website!), so here's a link and a picture of me throwing my old Hammond organ in the trash.



5. Bonus!
For a bonus, here's Armitage analyzing the lyrics to "This Charming Man." It's fantastic.


No comments:

Post a Comment